The practices of computer engineering are involved in many fields, such as the gaming industry, smartphone and application development as well as the aeronautics and space flight industries. Degrees in this field begin at the bachelor level, with further specialization being found in master's and doctorate programs.
Top 10 Computer Engineering Schools
The below schools offer degrees in software engineering or computer science, as both can lead to employment in computer engineering fields:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees, (2015-2016)*|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge, MA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $46,704, Graduate: $49,272|
|Stanford University||Stanford, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $46,320, Graduate: $46,320|
|University of California - Berkeley||Berkeley, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $38,139, Graduate: $28,533 (Out-of-State)|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Master's, Doctorate||$41,371|
|University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign||Champaign, IL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $30,214, Graduate: $31,231 (Out-of-State)|
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $43,476, Graduate: $42,016 (Out-of-State)|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Atlanta, GA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $32,396, Graduate: $30,064 (Out-of-State)|
|California Institute of Technology||Pasadena, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $45,390, Graduate: $45,390|
|Cornell University||Ithaca, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $49,166, Graduate: $29,581|
|University of Texas - Austin||Austin, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $34,676, Graduate: $20,762 (Out-of-State)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Students interested in computer software engineering programs may want to keep these considerations in mind:
- Schools that offer advanced research opportunities at the graduate and undergraduate levels allow students to gain hands-on experience in computer software engineering.
- Schools that offer students up-to-date computer labs and laboratory facilities dedicated to software engineering allow students to submerse themselves in the field.
- Students should give particular attention to programs that allow them to focus on targeted areas such as real-time systems, enterprise software, operating systems, parallel computing architecture, artificial intelligence, e-commerce systems or networking.
- Schools that are accredited by a professional association, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, assures that a program has met the high-quality standards.
Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
These programs stress programming and math. Students learn to design traditional software for computers and video games, as well as real-time dedicated devices, like smart phones, and control systems for industry, aeronautics and space flight. Students are typically required to complete a senior project.
Master of Science in Software Engineering
Postgraduate students tackle the more complex computing areas, such as parallel computing, artificial intelligence, network security and wireless engineering. Master's programs can include a thesis or research project, which can launch students into a successful career with opportunities for advancement.
Ph.D. in Software Engineering
Doctoral students delve into engineering languages, data mining and distribution systems. They are also required to complete a research dissertation or thesis that must be presented before a faculty board. Additional program requirements may include teaching experiences and practicums. Graduates are prepared for academia and research opportunities in software engineering.
While dedicated computer engineering programs are somewhat rare, many reputable schools offer computer science degrees with coursework that prepares students for computer engineering fields. These programs can be found at the bachelor's, master's and doctorate levels.